Review: The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult
Publisher: Harlequin/Mira
Expected Publication: May 20, 2014


Lost your way?

Your dreams?


Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost...well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go-luggage, keys, dreams, lives-where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible....

Until Lauren decides nothing-and no one-is going to keep her here anymore.


The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst is a book I went into not knowing much about. Sure I assumed some big mystery was afoot and external forces were at play keeping people trapped but beyond that I went into reading The Lost mostly blind (ie I didn't read any early reviews). Well I'm happy to report that not only did The Lost meet my expectations but it surpassed them tenfold. 

One of my favorite parts about The Lost were the characters. Even though this is really Lauren's story the side characters are just as interesting if not more so than Lauren herself. I loved Claire probably the most out of everyone. She was so wise beyond her years and incredibly resourceful. Also it was interesting that the character Peter was so attached to her. She wasn't the only child in Lost yet she seemed to be the only one he tolerated. Speaking of Peter, I can't help but think of him as a blend of Henry from The Goddess Test series and Ignotus Peverell from J.K. Rowling's Tale of the Three Brothers. It's a weird blend I know but these two characters remained in the forefront of my thoughts as I read the book. Peter is called the Finder and he helps those who are lost find their way again. His character is one of mystery throughout the book but little by little Lauren gets him to reveal parts of himself kept hidden for what is implied to be a very long time. Lastly, I liked Lauren. She was so different than I expected her to be but in a good way and by the end I was so glad that she decided not to abandon everyone even though she could've and I wouldn't fault her for that.

Another thing I liked about The Lost was the bizarreness of the town. Yes the characters are the driving force of the mystery but they aren't the only ones lost. In fact, the town is constantly adding new items to it as people lose items in the "real world" and can include anything from people, pets, plants, luggage, cars and more. If it's been lost it know doubt is waiting in that town waiting to be found. In one scene as Lauren is walking along the border of the town she witnesses a house flying overheard even. The story is very Cloudy with a chance of meatballs in that respect. If you wait long enough what you need or want will probably appear. 

Lastly, I loved the world building. The Author paints a picture of the landscape and its inhabitants so clearly that I could easily envision myself driving through the dust storm and eating at the diner surrounded by the quirky townsfolk. Considering the amount of effort put into creating this world and the ever changing nature of the landscape of Lost the Author never bogs down the story with unnecessary details that it slows the pacing. 

Now even though I really loved The Lost I have just a few minor gripes with the story. These things aren't enough to change my opinion regarding my overall enjoyment of the book but they are things I hope are addressed in the sequel.

First off, I really hoped we'd learn more about The Missing Man. He's gone for so much of the book yet is a critical part of how things resolve themselves. While we do get some information I have a niggling suspicion that her being brought to the town goes well beyond her feeling lost and helpless regarding her mothers situation. Also his reaction to her name seemed to go well beyond that as well. I'm hoping we learn more in the sequel. 

Secondly, While I adored Peter as a character I really didn't feel that him and Lauren had much chemistry. Although we do get a few sweet scenes between them the relationship has definitely been set up as a slow burn type of deal. Yet on the other hand, the end gives me hope that things will change for them and we'll see the fire and intensity I know probably exists within him waiting to be unleashed. 

Lastly, Claire, sigh. I know it is for the best but I hope that she pops up again in the future. Her relationship with the Knife needs to be explored more. Plus I really wished we could've seen her parents during the reunion. I suspect (although I could be wrong) something happened between them at least more than were told from the newspaper clipping and I think it's related to her security blanket type interaction with the knife. Like I said, I could be wrong but I think she was hiding something terrible and had she been able to stick around longer Lauren wouldn't have been so careless around her.

Final Thoughts
The Lost was everything I didn't know I was looking for. The characters were interesting, the plot intriguing and the mystery kept me guessing right up until the end. Needless to say I cannot wait for the next book in this series to release. In fact, if I could have it tomorrow that'd be great. If you like mysteries with a paranormal twist than I highly suggest picking The Lost up when it releases. With that being said, I'll be rating The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst ★★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed provided by Netgalley.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author
Follow: Twitter / Goodreads
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of seven fantasy novels for teens. Her latest, Conjured, came out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Prior to that, she released Vessel, Drink Slay Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. Sarah has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years writing about dragons and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. She lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children. For more information, visit her at .


  1. I haven't read any early reviews for this one yet either... until now, of course. And wow, this definitely surpasses my expectations because this one wasn't even on my radar prior to this. I think I do recall that this author's books are generally well received so I'll have to check her out sometime!

  2. This isn't on my radar either, but I'm so glad I read your review. It's going on the list!


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